Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Los Angeles National Cemetery

Here is a picture of the Los Angeles National Cemetery that I took earlier this week.

I often try to go to a veterans cemetery when I’m on the road.

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March 15, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

LAPD Helicopter Flying Over Santa Monica Beach

Here is a picture of an LAPD helicopter flying over Santa Monica beach today.

It was a nice sunny day in Southern California today.

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March 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On The Death Of Rodney King

I’m sorry for the death of Rodney King. Mr. King drowned yesterday in Southern California.

Mr. King was a fellow human being who was responsible for his many mistakes, and who also very much part of a world that he never made. I’m sorry Mr. King was never able to find a right path in life.

I’m sorry for the police who were so removed from their humanity for some amount of time that they beat Mr. King so severely.

I’m sorry for the many police officers who know a right path, but who sometimes end up engaging in actions that are wrong and who end up defending many of the persons and institutions in our society who profit when we are unable to get along.

I’m sorry that some folks in Los Angeles used the excuse of the not guilty verdict in the trial of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Mr. King to attack their own communities and to attack the innocent truck driver Reginald Denny.

I’m sorry for all the self-destructive behavior we see in America.

I’m sorry for the people who leave comments about Mr. King’s death such as the one you see below from the Facebook page of Houston hate speech radio station KTRH 740

“Looks like His baby days are over, the welfare state will have to pay all his babies mothers, to bad it was not a family event. Hes all wet”

I’m sorry that we are never able to come to full terms with the most brutal aspects of our national history.

I’m sorry–and hopeful–for all of us because  for both good and ill Mr. King, the police who beat him, the rioters in Los Angeles, Reginald Denny, and the people who say they are glad Mr. King is dead are  quintessentially American.

I’m hopeful because sometimes progress is made, and because so many of us realize there is better path than the way we so often treat each other in this nation.

Here is an obituary of Mr. King from the Los Angeles Times.

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Gingrich The Latest To Wade Into The Republican Far Right Tar Pit Of Oblivion

Newt Gingrich is currently the  leading anybody-but-Romney choice of far-right Republican extremists.

At first it was Donald Trump who held this position.

Then Michelle Bachmann.

Then Rick Perry.

Then Herman Cain. 

And now, as mentioned above, it is Mr. Gingrich’s turn.

This all reminds me of the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

At the La Brea Tar Pits back in Ice Age times, a creature would fall in the sticky tar and start to sink.

Another creature would see this vulnerability and leap in expecting an easy meal.

That predatory beast would sink as well.

They are all leaping in—One after another after another.

If Governor Romney is nominated by Republicans , how will he be able to withstand the pressures within his party to govern from the extreme right? Mr. Romney rarely score above 25%  in polls. What will he have to do to win over a voter base that will support anybody at all to avoid backing Mr. Romney? Already Mr. Romney has gone back on his own health care plan from Massachusetts.

(At the top of the post—A 1921 illustration of the Tar Pits by Charles R. Knight. A Giant Sloth has been trapped in the pit while foolish snarling Sabre Tooth Tigers think they are going to get fed. Above are some California Condors who can maybe –blissfully unaware of how rough a future they are going to have— swoop down for some sinking flesh. )  

(Below–Elephants–of one kind or another–have been lured into a pit of no return for many years. Here is a post I wrote in 2009 about a big fossil find at the Tar Pits and about if the DNA of Ice Age beasts should be used to someday bring them back.) 

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Massive Fossil Find–Should Ice Age Creatures Be Brought Back From The Dead?

A big find of ice age fossils has been discovered in Los Angeles. These fossils are near the La Brea Tar Pit.

( Above–Los Angeles!)

(Here is information on the concept of an Ice Age. Here is information on the La Brea Tar Pits.

(Above–Bubbly La Brea Tar Pit. )

From the Los Angeles Times story on the fossil find

“Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.”

Below is a LA Times photo of the fossil dig–

Fossils at Rancho La Brea

Can these Ice Age beasts be brought back to life with DNA? If they could be brought back to life, maybe they could be taught tricks and be shown off at some type of Ice Age World theme park.

According the magazine New Scientist the following things will be needed to bring an extinct ice age beast back to life—

* Well-preserved DNA.

* Several billion DNA building blocks.

* A suitable surrogate species

* Some seriously advanced technology.

(Here is the full New Scientist article on this subject. This magazine is available on many newsstands and for online subscription. Nothing is free in the end.)

From the New Scientist article, here are the steps that need to be taken to bring back an extinct animal—

1. Extract the DNA from your extinct species, sequence the fragments and assemble to obtain a complete genome.

 2. Now take your DNA building blocks and recreate the DNA of your extinct beast, in the correct number of chromosomes. 

3. Package the chromosomes up into an artificial nucleus and pop it in an egg collected from your suitable surrogate species. This should then develop into an embryo, which will be a clone of a long-dead animal.

4. Grow a baby animal from the embryo. For mammals, implant the embryo in the womb of a compatible surrogate mother. For a reptile or bird, incubate embryo using yet-to-be-developed techniques. For an amphibian or fish where fertilisation takes place outside the body, just sit back and watch.

Beasts that could possibly be brought back include the Woolly Rhinceros  , Sabre-Toothed Tiger, Short-Faced Bear and Irish Elk.

It is not certain to me that these creatures should be brought back to existence even if possible.

First, there is the prospect that they could come back as some sort of vampire creatures if raised from the dead.

It’s possible these creatures would harbor an “Ice Age Pox” that would wipe out half our population.

Also, these revived beasts would be seen as nothing but freaks. Theme parks and zoos would bid for them and they would become no more than modern day Shamus.

I say let these creatures rest.

(Below–Irish Elk skeleton.)

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Texas Liberal Gets 6539 Hits In One Day—Thank You Blog Reading World

Thanks to you, the blog reading public, Texas Liberal registered 6539 hits on November 5. For the week of the election, Texas Liberal was fortunate enough to get over 2,600 hits a day.

If you Google “6539”, you get a listing for the Hudson Mainstage Theater at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. This entertainment center has three stages, as espresso bar and an art gallery. Now performing at the Hudson is the play Angry Young Women In Low-Rise Jeans With High-Class IssuesHere is a review of that show.

My goal for 2008 was 1,000 page views a day. This year I’ve averaged 880. That’s not 1,000, but it is pretty good as these things go.

I also blog as a featured politics reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle and at Where’s The Outrage?  

Thank you for reading Texas Liberal. If you like the blog, please consider forwarding the link. A blog grows one reader at a time.

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Blogging | , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is The Bradley Effect? Who Was Bradley?

The so-called “Bradley Effect” is a topic of conversation and, for Democrats, concern in the 2008 campaign.

What is the Bradley effect? Who was Bradley?

The Bradley effect is the idea that persons contacted by pollsters lie about support for a black candidate for public office. They tell the pollster they support a black candidate because they don’t wish to be seen as racist. But when they go to vote, they vote for the white candidate in the race instead of the black person they had told the pollster they favored.

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact Of The Day.

A recent Associated Press story suggests that Senator Obama will have to have a lead in the polls of at least six points to overcome this factor on Election Day. This idea is disputed by a leading analyst of poll data. This New York Times article discusses the issue.

The term Bradley effect comes from the 1982 election for Governor of California. Los Angles Mayor Tom Bradley ( photo above), a black man, was leading in the polls over California Attorney General George Deukmejian. Mr. Bradley was a Democrat and Mr. Deukmejian a Republican.

Despite Mr. Bradley’s lead in the polls, Mr. Deukmejian won the election by a small margin.

From the New York Times 1998 obituary of Mayor Bradley

“Tom Bradley, the sharecropper’s son who became Mayor of Los Angeles and presided over the city for two decades of explosive growth and change, died yesterday..He was 80. Mr. Bradley was Mayor from 1973 to 1993, an era in which Los Angeles was transformed from a collection of suburban neighborhoods to what Mr. Bradley liked to call a ”world-class city,” a place with glittering skyscrapers, a striking new skyline and a vibrant downtown…. His election as the first black Mayor of Los Angeles, which was then the nation’s third largest city and largely white, reflected a significant change in local politics in the United States. For most of that time, Mr. Bradley was an immensely popular figure whose stately bearing and placid demeanor seemed to reassure his increasingly polyglot city….Soft-spoken and self-effacing, Mr. Bradley shunned some of the perquisites that his stature and office might have brought him. Calling it a foolish waste of money, he refused to use a cellular telephone that was installed in his car, a former aide recalled. Still, Mr. Bradley learned to move as easily in the society of the fabulously wealthy as he did in the world of the poor and disadvantaged from which he had come.”

Is the Bradley effect for real? Have we moved ahead in the 26 years since 1982? Will a kind of reverse Bradley effect take place this year where Senator Obama actually gains votes because he is black?

Nobody knows.

( Please click here for information about black governors in the United States)

(Please click here to read about black U.S. Senators.)

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments